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Sunday Schools Post by :kimaiga Category :Essays Author :Lemuel K. Washburn Date :November 2011 Read :3606

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Sunday Schools

Of all the stupid things we meet with, Sunday school lessons are the stupidest. There seems to be only one way to account for this, and that is that stupid persons are connected with Sunday schools and can comprehend only stupid things. It seems to us as though a bright boy or girl at the age of twelve years ought to be able to overthrow every argument employed in a Sunday school to bolster up the Christian superstition. The lessons taught in them are adapted to undeveloped brains, and the literature one gets from their libraries is of that variety that is calculated to discourage any robust independence of mind. We believe that any religious or theological instruction is a positive injury to the young; that it is utterly wrong to instill into the immature mind ideas of God, of a future life, of heaven and hell, of angels and devils. All that we know about God is what we don’t know. The same may be said of other branches of religion. How much better it would be to teach something useful, something of importance, something real, true! Parents owe it to their children to save them from being taught the false and foolish dogmas of Christianity. False education is the bane of humanity, and the falsehood that is learned in Sunday schools poisons and deforms the life of man as long as he lives. Fear of God—the most terrible spectre that ever haunted the human soul—is a product of the Sunday school. The victims of this fear can be counted to-day by millions. This one fact ought to be sufficient to condemn this nursery of superstition and evil. There is no earthly reason to fear God, and other reasons should have no weight. The black shadow of fear which darkens the whole earth is the result of faith in God. The catechisms used in the Sunday schools are mostly filled with pious trash. The questions and answers they contain are written out of ignorance, written, too, in most cases, for the purpose of making the intellect the slave of the priest and minister. There is no mystery so shallow as a theological mystery, because it is founded on deception. The only mysteries that the human mind can contemplate with real wonder are the sublime mysteries of Nature, the mysteries of life and death, of sand and star, of flower and feeling. Before these great, overwhelming mysteries, that everywhere surround us, the petty ideas of Gods and devils, of saviors and mediators, of heaven and hell, are trivial and cheap. We condemn Sunday schools, because they do not teach what is real, what is true, what is necessary to a noble human life on earth; because they inculcate superstitions, and elevate the belief of religious dogmas above scientific and useful knowledge; because they put God above man, heaven hereafter above the home here, and the performance of religious duties above the life of honesty, purity and love. Sunday schools are the poorest schools on the face of the earth, and there is only one excuse for their existence, and that is to perpetuate the church, to keep alive the superstitions upon which it was built and upon which the clergy depend for a living.


Our duty to the god of christianity is to bury him.


Nothing from nothing and nothing remains, Nothing from nothing and nothing is the same.


If the factory pays taxes and the church does not, it follows that the church will some day own the factory.


When christian ministers stand up in their pulpits and say “Let us pray,” if they would sometimes vary the invitation and say: Let us laugh, they would do their congregations more good.

(The end)
Lemuel K. Washburn's essay: Sunday Schools

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Going To Church Going To Church

Going To Church
Every little while some minister wakes up to the fact that a large proportion of the people of our cities do not go to church, and he blames the people for this state of affairs. Nobody blames men and women if they keep away from the theatre, from the library, from the art gallery, from the public park; in fact, it is generally admitted that people can exercise their own judgment in visiting these places and not be liable to censure on the part of anybody. Not so, however, when they keep away from the church. Why does a man go

Indifference To Religion Indifference To Religion

Indifference To Religion
The pulpit complains that people are indifferent to religion. Why shouldn’t they be? It is about time they were indifferent to it. Our wonder is, that the people tolerate a single priest or church on earth. Of what benefit is religion to mankind? Come now, ye that uphold religion, tell us what it does to make the world better, nobler, truer? Why should man worship God? Why should he build thousands of costly churches all over the earth, and pay priests and ministers large salaries to preach and pray in these churches? If the churches were the humblest buildings in the